Cannabis And Animation: These 6 Titles Are So Much Better High
4 min

Cannabis And Animation: These 6 Titles Are So Much Better High

4 min

Animation and cannabis are both brain food for the imagination, and as it turns out, they go great together. That being said, if you're new to the business of watching animation while high, you may want to pick a gentler offering. We've compiled a list of great films for both beginners and experts in the world of toking and watching animated films.

Every great idea begins with the imagination. And every great imagination begins with inspiration: and few things are more inspiring to the imagination than both animation and cannabis.

Animation allows the viewer to enter a world unshackled by the rules, appearance, and physics of everyday reality. With animation, the viewer is transported to another realm where anything is possible, where physicality can be grossly exaggerated, and where human truths be contrasted with their strange packaging.

Cannabis can produce a similar effect: it distorts the normal, enhances the mundane, and exaggerates certain emotions. Both animation and cannabis open up worlds of strange new possibility, and can inspire incredible insight and creativity.

Which begs the question: what happens when you combine the two?

History Of Animation

Cannabis And Animation: History Of Animation

Before we combine animation and cannabis, we need to know what animation is all about. Animation far predates the technology of cinema—in fact, it goes back thousands of years. Many ancient peoples, including the Egyptians, produced serialised drawings depicting events unfolding in sequence.

Animation really took off in the 20th century, with the emergence of cinema. The first work of traditional animation was Fantasmagorie by French artist Émile Cohl. This was followed by a wave of animations, mostly produced as shorts to run in movie theatres, featuring characters still familiar today like Superman, Felix the Cat, and Popeye the Sailor. Disney Studios, which emerged as the champion of this golden age of animation, introduced the iconic Mickey Mouse in the 1920s, and the first hand-drawn animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, in 1937.

After World War 2, animation took on television. Hanna-Barbera emerged as a heavy hitter, releasing such hits as “The Huckleberry Hound Show” in 1958 and “The Flintstones” in 1960.

The next leap forward occurred in the 1990s, when corporations across the world realised that children were a lucrative market, and that cartoons were an excellent way to advertise. Cartoon programming for children exploded, with too many hits to count, from “Rugrats” to “Recess” to “Animaniacs”.

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Meanwhile, another television trend was reaching full flower. Networks greenlit cartoons for adults, featuring sophisticated humour, complex plots, and mature themes. The most famous and legendary of these was “The Simpsons”, a brilliantly written and biting satire of American life.

Meanwhile, in film, animation was reaching new heights, both narratively and technologically. Pixar began producing films that combined traditional animation with new digital technologies, bringing viewers a new look accompanied by fantastic stories beloved by adults and children alike. Then there’s the genius of Japanese master filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, who are behind such award-winning titles as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. These titles ushered in an era in cinema that broke down the boundary between animation and art film.

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In the 21st century, animation is experiencing a new renaissance that shows no signs of waning. The Millennial generation, raised on cartoons, seems to have an endless appetite for animated features. Animation for adults has exploded as animated TV shows become increasingly dark and mature, while the film industry explores animation in even the most unlikely of genres.

Happily, this renaissance in adult animation comes right in time for the cannabis renaissance.

Adding Marijuana To The Experience

Animation: Adding Marijuana To The Experience

Cannabis is the perfect complement to the cartoon-watching experience. It allows viewers to feel emotions more keenly and to enjoy each moment more fully. Cannabis can help users enter into states of creativity and joy, bringing the experience of watching animation to a whole new level.

Choose A Strain That Has A Strong Cerebral Effect

When deciding which strain to combine with your chosen animation, you’ll want to pick one with strong cerebral effects—there’s nothing that’ll kill the experience more than zoning out and losing the thread of the plot.

You can’t go wrong with Girl Scout Cookies. This legendary strain will lift your mood, chill you out, and put you in the perfect mindset to experience something fun and beautiful. Add some real cookies to the mix for the ultimate cannabis hat trick!

Girl Scout Cookies (Zamnesia Seeds) Feminized

Parents: Durban Poison x OG Kush
Genetics: 80% Indica / 20% Sativa
Flowering Time: 8-9 weeks
THC: 23%
CBD: 0-1%
Flowering Type: Photoperiod

Another great choice is the supremely uplifting Blue Dream. If you’re going to be watching something funny, this might be your girl! The munchies are strong with this one, so make sure you pack some snacks.

Titles To Break You Into The Genre

Cannabis And Animation: Titles To Break You Into The Genre

If you’re just breaking into the watching-animation-while-stoned game, you may want to avoid anything that’ll disturb or confuse you too much. These three titles are straightforward and not overly horrifying, while still being gripping, fun, and hilariously funny.

Toy Story

Toy Story was Pixar’s breakout animated film, and it’s as fresh today as it was in 1995. The brilliantly original premise focuses on a group of toys owned by a boy named Andy, and what happens when Woody, Andy’s favourite toy, gets supplanted by the flashy Buzz Lightyear.

Toy Story is geared towards adults and children alike, so you should be fine getting through it while stoned. This groundbreaking film is a buddy comedy like no other, and will bring the full spectrum of emotions you want to experience while high.

My Neighbor Totoro

Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese filmmaker whose films are celebrated for their originality, complex themes, and breathtaking visuals. If you’re new to animation, you should start with My Neighbor Totoro. It’s geared towards both adults and children, and veers towards the whimsical rather than the disturbing, unlike some of his other films.

My Neighbor Totoro follows the story of two girls who move to a new town, where they encounter a series of magical creatures as they deal with the complexities of growing up. It’s a truly magical film; if you tend to get lost in fiction while high, the world of Totoro is a beautiful choice.

The Lion King

The Lion King is a story for the ages. A modernisation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, the story follows a young lion struggling with his father’s murder as he comes of age. It’s considered by many to be Disney’s greatest film. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys something warm, humourous, and wholesome while stoned, The Lion King is a great choice.

Strap In For A Sensory Adventure

If you’re a seasoned pothead and animation-lover looking for something more intense, you’re in luck—we live in an age where more such films are being produced by the day. If you haven’t seen the following three, there’s no time to waste.

Waking Life

If you’re feeling philosophical, Waking Life may be exactly what you’re looking for. It follows a young man through what may be an extended dream, as he encounters strange characters with even stranger ways of looking at reality, all while the animation style shifts and flickers. The film is an existential mindfuck, sure to leave you reflecting and contemplating for days to come. Waking Life is best experienced with a like-minded friend to discuss it with over a fresh bowl.

Fantastic Planet

Fantastic Planet has stood the test of time. This 1973 film takes place on an alien planet where humans are the pets of a race of giant blue aliens. The film features surreal landscapes, bizarre animals, and chilling scenarios, all animated in strangely beautiful stop-motion. Watching this movie while stoned will have you wondering if you’ve crash-landed on an alien planet, where nothing is as it should be.


Looking for something slower paced, with more emotional depth? Anomalisa follows the story of Michael, a customer service expert who lives in a world where everyone he meets shares the same face and voice, leaving him in a state of desperate loneliness. He meets Lisa, a young woman who sparks with uniqueness, and they embark on a love story. Though this film is legendary director Charlie Kaufman’s only animated feature, it ranks as one of his best. Watching this movie while stoned will ensure that its message hits you right in the chest, and will leave you emotionally moved for days.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an independent cannabis journalist with over 6 years of experience writing about all things weed; how to grow it, how best to enjoy it, and the booming industry and murky legal landscape surrounding it.
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